Home To Delicious TraditionInside Feature
February 24, 2019
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Yuko Akasaka has owned and managed the aptly named Akasaka restaurant throughout its four decades of serving Hawaii, and in addition to garnering praise from local diners and visitors alike, she has also earned worldwide notoriety by hosting dignitaries including Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
For 40 years, Akasaka and her team have built a loyal following by serving up some of the freshest, flavorful Japanese sushi and seafood creations available. The dining destination is situated conveniently on Kona Street between the bustling culinary hotbed spanning from Kapiolani Boulevard to Ala Moana Center, and offers an inviting atmosphere that transports diners to what resembles a traditional Japanese house complete with an intimate sushi bar.
“We’re very well known for our sushi, and keep our menu consistent with popular cooking and preparation styles,” Akasaka explains. “We have guests who come back from Europe and Russia after being away for 10, 20 or 30 years, and they are so happy to see us still here.”
Along with the restaurant’s dining area on the ground level, Akasaka also features an upstairs dining room that can host up to 30 guests. This private space is perfect for special events including business functions, birthday parties, anniversaries and other memorable occasions. To inquire about reservations, and to look at set menu and a la carte options available, ask for manager Mimi, who can help coordinate the ideal group outing.
Akasaka features a signature award-winning menu that has continued to evolve over the past four decades to feature items such as Abalone Butteryaki ($22.95). The rich and creamy shellfish is cooked in butter and sliced into small pieces before being served in the shell for guests to enjoy.
Diners have also come to know Akasaka for its stellar sushi and sashimi selections, which are prepared to order with premium ingredients. Sashimi Combination ($45.95 large) offers up the ultimate in fresh fish, as seven types of sashimi are included. Akasaka explains that diners can look forward to maguro (tuna), yellowtail, king salmon, red snapper, squid, sweet shrimp and surf clam in the sought-after sashimi set.
New York Steak ($25.95) is a go-to selection served on a sizzling plate along with onions, which not only add flavor to this local favorite, but also prevent the steak from being overcooked. Diners will smell the aroma of the succulent steak as well as hear the distinct sizzle as the dish is delivered piping hot to one’s table. The steak is sliced and served pupu-style, which makes it great for sharing.
Seafood enthusiasts will also appreciate the creativity and taste featured in Salmon with Ikura ($18.95 for two pieces), a unique sushi creation. Instead of seaweed, the salmon is used to wrap the rice, and ikura (distinct red caviar) is included, too, as the flavors are paired perfectly.
Be sure to check out Akasaka’s happy hour, available nightly from 9 p.m. to closing, as diners receive 10 percent off all food purchases and can also enjoy $5 large-bottle Asahi beer.